Choosing the proper psychotherapist is one of the most important tasks facing individuals who seek to enhance their own mental health. While the number of available therapists is large, there is a relative paucity of highly skilled and effective therapists and receiving a proper referral is vital in assisting individuals to bolster their mental health and foster an overall sense of improved well being.

Psychotherapy is the process of interactive conversation between a licensed mental health professional and a client aimed at shoring up an individual's areas of emotional vulnerability in such a fashion the client is able to more successfully add layers of complexity and texture to his/her life, to negotiate unpleasant emotions in a skillful manner and ultimately to enrich their lives with a variety of emotional experiences both individually and with others.

Psychotherapy can be delivered individually or in a group setting. There are pros and cons to both general modalities depending on individual’s clinical difficulties, personality style and therapists’ effectiveness.



 

Effective psychotherapists demonstrate the capacity to begin working with clients at the psychological place where the client currently resides. They are able to be nonjudgmental, and not foist their own agenda on the client. They are able to kindly yet firmly guide their clients to arrive at an understanding of their difficulty yet facilitate clients’ moving to a better place from which they may execute life’s tasks more effectively. Potential warning signs regarding less effective therapists include therapists claiming they are experts in one or more psychiatric diagnoses, or therapists with an alleged system or body of knowledge that they claim is a panacea for what ails the client. Therapists offering clients to seek treatment elsewhere if the therapist’s “program is not followed” can be viewed with significant suspicion since no therapist or human being has all the answers.

Effective psychotherapy promotes the concept of self fulfillment and self actualization, assisting clients in an understanding that life is chock full of a series of personal choices and that promoting healthier choices in life is more likely to result in more personal satisfaction, personal fulfillment and the capacity to more effectively interact with others; romantically, in friendships and in helping others who are less fortunate in life.

 
In summary, effective psychotherapists do not judge their clients and do not specialize in diagnoses, rather they manifest a thorough understanding of people in general which translates into empathy for others. Empathy reflects the capacity to “walk in another's shoes” without judgment, as one never knows what circumstances comprise the underpinnings of any one persons present situation in life.

Dr. Yarosh is a strong proponent of psychotherapy and will be happy to assist clients in finding psychotherapists who fulfill the criteria iterated above.